You own a small business and until now, you have generated leads and converted prospective clients into actual clients. You have invested some money in your marketing strategy. It may not be enough. You may need to do more.
With business dealings that occur online (just like those that occur face to face), the ultimate goal is to sell your products and/or services. The online marketing strategy that you build must be focused on creating highly effective, specific programs that touch people in the right way and at the right time. the avenue that you choose to use must also be the most appropriate for your purposes and for the purposes of the other person. The way that people are doing business nowadays (online and in person) is changing and if you are going to experience continued success in your business, you will have to adapt to accommodate those changes.
The spirit of cooperation
Your marketing and sales people must work closely so that your business process is fully integrated. This process must encompass business goals, milestone activities, and analytics. Your process should include:
- Identify your customers’ lifecycles with your business (from initial relationship to prospect to lead to loyal client)
- Establish what truly drives your business so that you can satisfy the needs of your clients
- Set up marketing initiatives that help to qualify and nurture your clients
- Have the ability to recognize a lead that will turn into a paying client
- Decide precisely how leads should go to the next level, which is sales and set up a system for tracking that information
Keep a close eye on client data
As a business owner, you will be acquiring client information from all sorts of places. It is important to have an organized way of disseminating and organizing that information so that it continues to remain useful and valuable for your business. If you don’t organize the information, you will be wasting valuable time and resources. The result of that could unfortunately be that you might miss selling opportunities. You need to establish a strategy that entails a well-rounded view of your clients and the people with whom they interact. In order to successfully do that, you must have a deep understanding of the information that you hold in your hands currently and you must be able to identify exactly where the gaps are so that you can fulfill those needs for them. That information will help you to clearly identify your target market.
Identify your client: It is important to identify who the buyer of your products and/or services in the target organization is. You should try to determine which individuals influence the decision to purchase and who the approver of the sale is. The deeper your understanding of that organization, the stronger your foothold will be.
Refine your data: It is very important that you obtain as much client data as you can. The types of information that you should have in your client database are company name, person’s title, contact name in the company, and Email address. Other information is helpful but at the very least, you should try to obtain those pieces of information. If you format the Email addresses and make sure that the domain names of your prospective clients are valid, when it comes time to send them communications, your information will have a smaller bounce rate.
Data matching means that you have links that connect different records so that your customer database is more accurate and more comprehensive. You should make sure to use a consistent naming convention among your prospective clients, which will make it a lot easier on you.
After you have gathered the information, you will need to put together some answers, such as
- Your target market
- Which stage your target person is in
- Which products and/or services you should be offering based on your target market’s needs
- The way in which you need to contact your prospective clients
- The most appropriate form of communication
As you market your business online, you need to constantly remember that content is king. Generally, people will check you out way before you check them out and the way that they will do that is by reading what you are sharing with them online. It may take them a while to trust you and find your credible but that is that only way that it is going to happen. The more top-quality content you share with them, the more they will want to read.
As a business owner, there are many things that you need to do in order to be successful. It is certainly not enough to just generate leads and convert them to sales. Marketing online is an entirely different thing and your strategy and the way that you think must be entirely different than how you think if you are marketing for a bricks-and-mortar business. You need to take advantage of word of mouth as much as possible and trust the idea that if your relationships are solid, they will yield what you need for your business. You need to find advocates of your business who will be willing to tell your story. In this day and age, it is critical that you are open-minded and that you are willing to embrace everything that can potentially contribute to your business’s success.
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About the Author.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).